Qualities of Good Writing
Writing is everywhere. It is in our culture and helps define our society. Its place in our culture is plastered on walls, or etched in well deserving books. However, what is the difference between “graffiti” and “highly regarded books” other than their context?
There may be a world of difference, or little at all. If writing is good, it does not matter where it is written. If writing brings out emotions, is relatable, and unique, then it is good.
Emotions pull people together. Their power gives people something to relate to. It is a human need to connect, making writing an important part of society. However, how does one create this good emotion filled writing? When I first tried my hand at poetry, I filled my poems with abstract ideas, meanings, and words.
I tried to make my poems pack a punch, but a writing teacher of mine told me that they were just too incomprehensible. She said simple was the way to go. If I could make my images clear and concise, then images of emotion would follow. Emotion, in life, is not a simple thing, but simple things create it, such as a break up or an accident. This goes for writing as well. If the writing is simple, complex emotions will follow, and that is good writing.
A relatable story creates another dimension to escape to. If characters act as real people would, then real people can picture themselves as said characters. Outlandish characters do not create the connection that is vital to a story’s readers, rather, a character that is simpler, but true, may pull its readers in. Good writing is filled with characters that can pull readers in with their positive qualities but also their negative qualities.
Ernest Hemingway offers this piece of writing advice, “When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.” Well-renowned and Pulitzer Prize winning author Hemingway says that characters should be thought of as people. This would make characters, or people, more significant to their readers. An aspect of all good writing is the ability to hold relevance to the physical world and everything that goes in it.
A unique style of writing may change how it is read and interpreted by its readers. Unique writing is good writing because it offers a new taste or perspective to what otherwise may have been a forgetful topic or story. A writer’s unique writing is their unique thoughts appearing on paper or screen. These thoughts transfer over to their readers and establish new ways of thinking upon them through the transfer of knowledge from writer to reader.
However, crafting one’s uniqueness is not an easy task, one that I have yet to accomplish. Once, I was at an author event for the young adult author Neal Shusterman, and he was talking about how he crafted his unique writing style. He said his “voice” was a mix from all of the impactful authors he has read. One’s unique voice can develop through the study and readings of many established authors. Their voices morph into one, which becomes one’s unique voice, making one’s writing richer. A unique voice leads to good writing.
So, it has been discussed that good writing holds emotion, is relatable, and is unique. Together, these three merge into a strong writing voice that can tackle any challenge. However, these writing traits may not come with ease. Practice and repetition are the best ways to improve these challenging writing goals. Practice them, perfect them, and use them to create good writing.
Writing Contest Theme
For high school and university students
Writing prompt: “Good Writing is_________”